Just six of the eight panels of the RAF mural at Hemswell Cliff taking up the entire front garden and driveway of the artist’s house (this picture of the work in progress was taken from his upstairs window).

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A mural which was started prior to the pandemic in early 2020 has finally been unveiled at Astra Antiques Centre, Hemswell Cliff.

The site is the former RAF Hemswell, a Bomber Command base during the Second World War, and the eight-panel mural is now on show on the front wing of the old Barrack Block building to “help celebrate the 85th anniversary of old RAF Hemswell which was officially opened on New Year’s Eve in 1936”, said Astra’s Dan Wilkinson.

The mural was created by local artist Gary Brett who took the design from a comic cover, Radio Silence, in the Battle Picture Library (No 874).

In 2018 Astra opened an RAF Hemswell History Display located in the entrance to the centre. The official opening was conducted by RAF veterans who were stationed at the Hemswell base during their service. In 2019 Astra also commissioned a local company to build a RAF Memorial Propeller which is situated outside the entrance.

Special effort


Pair of early 20th century Arts & Crafts candlesticks designed by Carl Deffner, Germany c.1905, priced £335 at Hemswell Antique Centres.

Also at Hemswell Cliff, which is near Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, Hemswell Antique Centres is in the thick of a busy pre-Christmas buying period.

The centres’ Laura Hill said: “Due to families not being able to get together last Christmas because of Covid restrictions people are going all out to make this time a special one and making that extra effort. Footfall is increasing with people buying antique and vintage jewellery which is always popular at Christmas, china, wineglasses and candlesticks.

“Some visitors like to make their own Christmas crackers so vintage fabric samples and postcards plus vintage charms to go in them are popular now. Vintage nativity scenes, baubles and garlands are selling well too.”

The browsing choice from 375 dealers is huge at the centres both in person and online with 6000-plus items listed on the site.